Protest in Thampalakamam over lack of medical officers

[TamilNet, Thursday, 15 April 2004, 16:50 GMT]
Hundreds of residents, men and women, Thursday held a picketing campaign in front of the district government hospital in Thampalakamam, an agricultural village located about 27 km southwest of Trincomalee town, protesting against the failure of the health administration to fill several vacancies for medical officers, sources said

Thampalakamam divisional secretariat area comprises 12 village level (Grama Sevaka) units with 49 villages and has a population of about 30,000 people. The government hospital caters to the medical needs of these people, sources said

Three medical officers have to work in the Thampalakamam hospital according to the cadre requirement. But only two were working in the hospital till February 27th February this year. On that day, one medical officer was transferred out without any replacement. The second medical officer who is a female went on leave during the first week of April without a substitute. Consequent to this, the hospital was closed down from April 11, leaving the residents of the village without medical attention even in an emergency situation, sources said.


Thampalakamam Protest
Trincomalee parliamentarian Mr.Thurairatnasigham ( extreme right) discusses the problems of Thampalakamam hospital with Provincial health Ministry official Dr.Gnanagunalan ( second from left ) in front of the closed Thampalakamam hospital.


The Trincomalee district parliamentarian, Mr.K.Thurairetnasingham, immediately brought this situation to the notice of the Minister of Health.

However, as the health authorities failed to take prompt action to post permanent medical officers, the people of the village organized a picketing campaign in front of the hospital Thursday, sources said.

On receipt of information North East Provincial Health Ministry official, Dr.G.Gnanagunalan, and Mr.Thurairatnesingham rushed to the site and held talks to restore smooth functioning of the hospital.


Thampalakamam Protest
Dr.Gnanagunalan and Mr.Thurairatnasingham explain their temporary solution to picketers in front of Thampalakamam hospital.


Dr.Gnanagunalan said appointing medical officiers to hospitals in the country is in the hands of the line ministry of health and the provincial health authorities have no say in this regard. However, he said he could find ways and means to post a medical officer on a temporary basis until a permanent solution is found to the problem, sources said.

Parliamentarian Mr.Thurairatnesingham assured the people that he would take up the matter with the Health Minister to see an end to the problems confronting the hospital. The picketers dispersed from the site around noon Thursday, the sources said.
Thampalakamam Protest
Men and women picket in front while police provide security.

 

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